Haggerty: Why a David Krejci-Bobby Ryan trade might work

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It’s no secret that big, talented power forwards are beloved in Boston. Milan Lucic is already well-liked among Bruins fans even if he might not ever live up to Cam Neely’s lofty legacy. While he acknowledges that it’s just a rumor, CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty believes that a David Krejci + low first-round pick package could very well nab Anaheim Ducks power forward Bobby Ryan.

Haggerty also argues that the deal could very well be worth it for Boston.

But a trade with the Anaheim Ducks for a 6-foot-2, 218-pound right wing that’s put up 136 goals and 259 points in 334 career games is the one deal that conservative GM Peter Chiarelli might not be able to say “no thanks” to. If the trade does indeed include Krejci and a first rounder expected to be in the 25-30 range to an Anaheim club looking to shore up their center depth between Ryan Getzlaf and Saku Koivu, then the pieces appear to be in place for both sides.

One former teammate of Ryan’s said he was “a good kid” during his early years in Anaheim as a 20-year-old rookie, and his personality wouldn’t be a problem within the Bruins dressing room.

Instead it seems to be more about salary and cap hit with the Ducks looking to create a more balanced front line with depth and strength down the middle of the ice.

Meanwhile the Bruins covet size, strength and skill on the wing, and Ryan represents all three of those things. But Ryan has also spoken openly about his desire to severe ties with the Ducks after they’ve tossed his name on the trade block multiple times, and now the pressure is on Anaheim to deal an obviously unhappy player before training camp opens in September.

Honestly, it would be a solid coup if the Ducks could land a strong (and underrated) player like Krejci plus a decent draft pick for Ryan.

As Haggerty points out, the two players have a lot in common in the comparable amount of points they’ve put up in their careers, their age and even their affordable cap hits. It’s true that Ryan has superior size and is a more prolific goal-scorer – two of the most desired assets in the NHL – but the Ducks are also lacking some leverage because everyone knows that Ryan wants out. Getting a comparable (if more subtle) scoring center and an asset for that talented winger would be quite the strong work considering the situation.

(One might even compare it to the Atlanta Thrashers wrangling Marian Hossa and Greg de Vries for Dany Heatley despite being in an even more awkward conundrum many moons ago.)

Still, the Bruins would be dealing from an area of strength (center depth) to add the kind of winger who would probably fit in well in Beantown. Giving up a nice package might not matter much if Ryan thrives like many imagine he could – especially if Nathan Horton’s concussion issues persist.

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How do you feel about the idea, though? Would Boston give up too much in the scenario? Is Krejci actually better than Ryan, anyway? Share your thoughts in the comments.

WATCH LIVE: Game 1 for Penguins – Capitals, Rangers – Senators

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It’s really happening.

For all the griping about having the Penguins and Capitals meet in the second round (again), it’s easy to forget the bright side: upsets didn’t dislodge this juicy matchup from taking place.

The West’s duo of Game 1 matchups kicked into gear last night, and now the East provides that battle between Sidney Crosby‘s squad and Alex Ovechkin‘s loaded team. Don’t sleep on Rangers – Senators, either, though; there should be plenty of intrigue in seeing superhuman Swedes Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson try to one-up each other.

Here’s what you need to know to follow the action:

New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Network: CNBC (Stream online here)

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

Sutter won’t retire from coaching, willing to join a rebuild

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Given he turns 59 this summer, has won a pair of Stanley Cups and coached over 1,000 NHL games, Darryl Sutter probably could’ve called it a career after getting fired by the Kings earlier this month, and done so comfortably.

But that’s not happening.

In speaking with TSN’s Gary Lawless, Sutter said he has no plans to retire from coaching. What’s more — and, perhaps more interesting — is that Sutter said he wouldn’t limit his next job solely to a contending team.

Currently, there are just two vacant coaching gigs in Buffalo and Florida. We wrote about the Panthers’ search earlier today (more on that here). The situation in Buffalo is more complex, as the Sabres need to hire a new general manager and coach. Logic suggests the GM will be hired first, then spearhead the new bench boss hire.

In that regard, Buffalo is pretty intriguing.

Though the Kings have yet to be contacted for an interview request, ex-GM Dean Lombardi has been tied to the Sabres gig. And Lombardi, of course, is forever tied to Sutter — he was the one that hired Sutter after a five-year coaching exodus to join the Kings, and the pair went on to achieve great success together.

That five-year coaching exodus does need to be mentioned, though.

History suggests that Sutter isn’t joking when he says he’ll be picky about the situation and won’t rush to find the right fit. After being dismissed in Calgary in 2006, he returned to work on the family farm in Viking, Alberta and seemed fairly content doing so.

That said, hockey always seems to draw him back.

“The game has given us everything,” Sutter told Lawless. “We still have lots to give.”

Coyotes fire assistant coach Newell Brown

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The Arizona Coyotes have parted ways with some personnel.

Assistant coach Newell Brown has been fired, along with Doug Soetaert, who was the general manager of their AHL affiliate in Tuscon.

Pro scouts David MacLean and Jim Roque won’t be back either. Their contracts will not be renewed.

“I’d like to thank Newell, Doug, David and Jim for their contributions to the club,” said GM John Chayka. “They are all good people but we believe these changes are necessary in order to improve our organization. We wish them the best in the future.”

A longtime NHL assistant coach, Brown is perhaps the most prominent of the four men. He joined the Coyotes in the summer of 2013 and received high praise for his work with their power play.

But Arizona’s power play slipped to 26th this past season, converting at a rate of just 16.2 percent.

As for Soetaert, he was only named GM of the Roadrunners last summer. The former NHL goalie had previously been a scout.

Plenty of seats available for tonight’s game in Ottawa

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The Ottawa Senators say they’re still expecting a full house, but Ticketmaster’s website shows plenty of available seats for tonight’s second-round opener with the New York Rangers.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Many of the available tickets for Thursday’s game were in the corners of the upper bowl, seats that carry a $96 price tag.

The Senators sold out all three games in the opening round of the playoffs against Boston. Game 1 drew a crowd of 18,702, while 18,629 showed up for Game 2 and 19,209 were in the seats for Game 5.

Attendance has been an issue in Ottawa — or, more specifically, suburban Kanata — all season, to the point owner Eugene Melnyk expressed great frustration with the lack of sellouts at Canadian Tire Centre.

Poor attendance also led to friction behind the scenes. At least, it sure sounded that way in the lawsuit that was filed against the team by its former chief marketing officer.

Poor attendance is why the Sens are trying to get a new downtown arena built. They believe that a more central location is the key to bigger crowds.

But regardless of the arena’s location, it won’t be a good look if there are empty seats tonight. This is the playoffs, and the Senators are one of eight remaining teams in the hunt for the Stanley Cup. The building should be full.

Related: Melnyk thinks Sens can make deep playoff run